The SustainUS Agents of Change program has selected its SustainUS youth delegation to the Rio+ 20 UNCSD Earth Summit this coming June. The Summit will take place in Rio de Janeiro from June 20-22 2012. The Summit is expected to address two main thematic issues: green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development, and insitutional framework for sustainable development (also called international environmental governance). It will also follow-up on the commitments made at the previous Earth Summit in Rio and implementation gaps, as well as new and emerging issues.
Follow their tweets @SustainUSAgents and read their blogs at www.sustainus.org/blog.
Meet the delegates...
SustainUS doesn't have any grassroots campaigns going on right now, but here's cool opportunity from one of our partner organizations, Earth Day Network!
Join Earth Day Network's MobilizeU campaign as a Regional Coordinator! As a MobilizeU Regional Coordinator, you will play a critical role by reaching out to students across the country and inspiring them to mobilize their college campuses. Being a MobilizeU Regional Coordinator is a great opportunity to take on leadership and engage other students in the youth environmental movement - as well as have a lot of fun organizing acts of green throughout the month leading up to Earth Day! We will encourage students to join the MobilizeU movement by participating in four weeks of environmental activism and generating acts of green (actions that reduce individuals' carbon footprints or raise awareness about environmental issues). Through MobilizeU, we have the chance to make a huge impact because every act of green will be counted toward A Billion Acts of Green®, a global initiative to call upon world leaders for international environmental action.
Join the national MobilizeU movement today!
When I was just beginning kindergarten, the leaders of the world came together in Rio de Janeiro for a groundbreaking Earth Summit that put the concept of sustainable development and biological diversity on the global political agenda. While I was chopping the hair off my sister's Barbies in third grade, the United States whacked the teeth out of the world's first agreement on climate change by refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. When America gave me the license to drink, I flew to Copenhagen and watched world negotiators water down the Copenhagen climate treaty till it was virtually worthless--effectively drowning out the cries of hope and change from our U.S. youth delegation and close to 100,000 other civil society members. Twenty years after the first Earth Summit, the leaders of the world are coming together for Rio+20 under the slogan of "the future we want."
For the majority of my life and the lives of my peers, our leaders have worked hard to give us a future we don't want. Global energy needs are skyrocketing and the climate is heating up fast--with normally conservative institutions like the OECD, the IEA and McKinsey predicting dire consequences from our carbon emissions and explosive population growth.
Today marks the official transition from 2011-2012 Focal Point leadership, so MJ and fellow Focal Point Avi Shrestha are now responsible for all related matters and communication with the Secretariat.
Writes MJ, "our jobs as Focal Points are to liaise information and facilitate action between this movement and the Secretariat which means we need everyone's active, engaged and constructive participation in order to ensure that our needs and influence as a constituency are properly conveyed to and met by the Secretariat."
SustainUS Rio+20 Coordinator Lauren Nutter served as 2011 Global North Focal Point.
"I am speaking on behalf of the United States of America because my negotiators cannot. The obstructionist Congress has shackled justice and delayed ambition for far too long. I am scared for my future. 2020 is too late to wait. We need an urgent path to a fair ambitious and legally binding treaty.
You must take responsibility to act now, or you will threaten the lives of youth and the world's most vulnerable.
You must set aside partisan politics and let science dictate decisions. You must pledge ambitious targets to lower emissions not expectations. Citizens across the world are being held hostage by stillborn negotiations.
We need leaders who will commit to real change, not empty rhetoric. Keep your promises. Keep our hope alive. 2020 is too late to wait."
--Abigail Borah, December 8, 2011